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Ranking the Best Fishing Hats of 2020

Best Overall Choice

GearTop Fishing Hat

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Best Premium Choice

Tilley Hats Men’s Lightweight Fishing Hat

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Best Budget Choice

Hat Depot 300N Summer Travel Bucket Fishing Hat

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Ian Fortey by Ian Fortey Updated on September 28, 2020. In Fishing

If you go fishing regularly, then you absolutely need a good fishing hat. The best fishing hat will be comfortable, stylish, and protect you from the sun. You ideally want UPF 50 sun protection from your fishing hat. That will keep you protected from UV radiation. UPF 50 is the minimum you should be looking for. And of course style is important as well. You don’t want to look goofy if you don’t have to. Fortunately, there are a lot of great choices for fishing hats on the market. Finding the best fishing hat for you won’t be a problem if you know what to look for.

Best Overall Choice

1. GearTop Fishing Hat

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The GearTop fishing hat and safari cap with sun protection is one of Amazon’s top sellers. The hat offers UPF 50 plus protection. It’s a one-size-fits-all. It’s made of quick-drying polyester and should fit 22.5 in to 23.5 in. The hat is made of 100% polyester and features a drawstring to keep it secure.

Because the hat is polyester, it’s going to be windproof and waterproof. If it does get wet, it’s quick drying. It also features a mesh vent to make it breathable as well. That ensures that you’re going to have Les sweats and moisture build-up. There’s a sweat absorbent band inside. The brim measures 3.7 in in width. The diameter of the brim is 14.75 in.

In terms of style, the gear top fishing hat does come in several colors. You can go with black, army green, khaki, or beige.

Best Premium Choice

2. Tilley Hats Men’s Lightweight Fishing Hat

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Tilley Hats have been around since 1980 and are a standard for quality in the industry. You might pay more for a Tilley hat, but you’re getting a hat that is going to stand the test of time. The lightweight nylon fishing hat has a great UPF 50 sun protection thanks to the wide brim. The material keeps it lightweight and breathable. A Hydrofil sweatband pulls moisture away from your skin. It repels water, so you don’t need to worry about dropping it off the side of the boat or a harsh rainstorm. Best of all, if you do drop it, it’s going to float.

When you are tight on space, you can easily roll up your Tilley hat to pack it in the smallest spot possible. It returns to shape easily without creases or wrinkles. There’s also a secret Velcro pocket in the crown. You can put money, ID, or all kinds of other things in there.

Best Budget Choice

3. Hat Depot 300N Summer Travel Bucket Fishing Hat

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When you don’t want to break the bank, the Hat Depot 300 N summer travel bucket fishing hat is for you. It features excellent UV protection and a wide brim. And, unlike most of the fishing hats on the market, it’s also 100% cotton. That means it’s going to be soft, lightweight, and comfortable.

To maximize circulation there are brass eyelets to allow air to flow through. It also comes in a huge range of colors. When you want a good quality hat that stays cool and safe, this is a great choice. This is also the best fishing hat for the budget angler.

4. KAVU Fisherman's Chillba Fishing Hat

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KAVU makes both a Chillba bucket hat and a Chillba fishing hat. Though the design is slightly different between the two, many of the features are the same. Arguably, KAVU makes one of the best fishing hats you’ll find. The design is classic with a wide brim. It’s also top quality that will stand up to many seasons of use. The Chillba features nylon construction. The bucket version is made from taslan. That’s a kind of polyester. There’s also a toggle lock but they’re on the chin strap to ensure secure fit.

Because the hat is nylon, it’s quite resistant to water. The material is lightweight and will dry quickly.

5. Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Fishing Hat

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The unisex Bora Bora booney hat has a stylish, simple design. It provides a good fit and won’t look awkward on your head. It’s made of textured nylon poplin. That means in his lightweight, water resistant, and is also well ventilated. The Omni Wick fabric wicks sweat away from your head. And of course, the brim protects you from UVB and UVA rays. They call the technology Omni Shade, and it offers UPF 50 sun resistance. There’s also a mesh breeze inducing vent to help keep you cool. The hat is fully adjustable and comes in a wide range of colors. There are 16 different varieties available on Amazon.

6. Rapid Dominance Boonies Fishing Hat

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The Rapid Dominance Boonies fishing hat is cotton and polyester. Just like a t-shirt, it’s breathable and comfortable. The tight weave of the cotton keeps you fully protected from UVA and UVB rays. It’s also great for pulling sweat away.

Made to military specifications, it’s incredibly durable and rugged. It also looks great compared to many fishing hats. The metal mesh vents are reliable and strong. The chin strap has a cord lock. It also comes in a variety of sizes. That means you don’t need to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach like some fishing hats.

7. DDYOUTDOOR Summer Outdoor Sun Protection Fishing Hat

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The DDYOUTDOOR fishing hat goes for maximum coverage. It features a broad brim, a neck flap, and even a face mask. Sun protection is UPF 50 plus. Next to wearing a ski mask, you’re not going to get better protection when you go fishing. This will keep you protected not just from the sun, but rain, dust, bugs, and more. And, during a pandemic, something like this offers an extra layer of protection. It may have seemed like overkill years ago, but it’s pretty desirable these days. As an added bonus, all of these extra features can be removed. You can just peel it back to a normal hat if you want.

Made from 100% nylon, it features a wicking lining. There are also mesh panels and brass eyelets to help with ventilation and heat. Despite all the elements, it’s also very lightweight. Adjustable drawstring helps maintain a good fit. The chin strap will also prevent it from blowing away on you.

8. Lethmik Fishing Sun Boonie Hat

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Made from 100% polyester, the Lethmik fishing hat is lightweight and water wicking. It’s also a quick dry hat that is breathable and will keep sweat off your brow. Vent openings will allow air circulation to prevent you from overheating. The chin strap keeps it in place even when you’re out on the boat during high winds. The wide brim gives you that UPF 50 sun protection that you’re looking for. The fabric is also durable. That means you can fold it and pack it 100 times over and it won’t fall apart on you. Side buttons allow you to fold up the rim on one side or the other if the mood strikes.

9. Home Prefer Wide Brim Fishing Hat

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Designed like a typical booney hat, the Home Prefer wide brim fishing hat also has a removable neck flap. It will cover your neck down past the collar of your shirt easily. With UPF 50 sun protection, the wide brim will ensure high-quality sun coverage. The hat itself is made from polyester and nylon fabric. That makes it quick drying, lightweight, and durable. The moisture wicking sweat band makes it comfortable even on the hottest of days. The mesh vent eyelets help keep air circulating as well. You can even adjust the width of the hat with a Velcro band if the fit isn’t perfect.

10. USHAKE Mosquito Head Net Fishing Hat

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While a fishing hat that can protect you from the sun is a good idea, sometimes you need a little more. If you’re out on a pond or in the swamp, the sun isn’t the only thing you mean to worry about. When the insects are out of control, the USHAKE mosquito head net fishing hat is a great option. The detachable mesh net can roll up inside the hat or be removed completely if the bugs aren’t biting. If they are, you can pull it down over your face easily and cinch it so that nothing gets in. If you can’t hide out in a tent, this is the next best thing.

Made from nylon and polyester, the hat is lightweight and durable. Mesh compartments increase airflow. As an added bonus, the company will offer you a 100% money-back guarantee for 12 months. You can’t go wrong with a great deal like that.

Things to Remember

Statistically, men are far more likely to develop skin cancer than women. Over 4 million Americans are diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma every year in the US. As the number of diagnosed BCC’s goes up, the gender gap between them becomes staggering. When you get to 6 basal cell carcinomas, 20% of patients are women while about 80% are men. Of course men and women we can both fish, but men statistically do it more often. A lifetime of being out in the sun doing activities like this can take its toll. You have direct sun on your face, plus reflected sun off the water to worry about. Wearing a hat could literally save your life. You need maximum protection for your head. Yes, it can keep you cool, but it’s definitely for more than that.

UV Protection

A good fishing hat should have a high UPF rating. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor. This is how able it is to keep you protected from ultraviolet radiation. A hat with a UPF rating of 50 plus is good. This rating will protect you from about 98% of UVA and UVB rays.

The wider the brim of the fishing hat, the greater the UV protection. That just makes sense. It may not be the most cutting-edge fashion statement, but it’s not supposed to be. You’re protecting yourself from overheating and sun burns. That in turn means you’re protecting yourself from long-term risks like skin cancer. Make sure your fishing hat has optimal coverage to keep you safe. Cover your face and neck if you can.

Size and Fit

Hat sizing is a difficult prospect for some people. Many cheaper fishing hats come in a single size only. One-size-fits-all doesn’t work for everyone. If you have a history of problems with hat sizing, double check on this before you commit to buy. Many hats are sized for smaller head sizes. Even with adjustable straps, that doesn’t make the fit much better. Make sure you take accurate measurements or buy a size you know is going to fit.

Adjustability

Many fishing hats come with adjustable straps and cords. These are important for getting a good fit. Also, for securing the hat in rough conditions. If you’re out on the boat and the wind picks up, you don’t want to lose your fishing hat.

Ventilation

Ventilation is key for a comfortable fishing hat fit. When you’re in the heat and humidity under the sun, you’re going to sweat. You don’t want a fishing hat that feels stifling. It should be keeping you cool, not the opposite. Look for fishing hats with vents, mesh, or eyelets. These allow for air circulation in your fishing hat. An adjustable chin strap is a good feature as well. It will allow you to loosen or lighten for increased ventilation. Moisture wicking material will also go a long way to keeping your head cool.

Waterproofing

Your fishing hat doesn’t need to be 100% waterproof. However, a water-resistant hat is a good thing. If it falls off into the water and you have to fish it out, you don’t want it soaking wet. If it’s able to resist water, you’ll be dry again in no time. That will also help it if you happen to get hot and sweaty. If the hat is capable of floating in water, that can prevent it from getting too soaked. And of course, that makes it less likely you’re going to lose it. A quick drying hat is a solid choice.

Hat Type

As you can see, there is more than one kind of fishing hat. The different types have different benefits. You may need to try a few to find the best hat for fishing for you.

Bucket Hats: These are very popular for fishing hats. They get their name from the bucket-like shape. The brim is usually wide and offers good coverage. Many anglers consider these the best hats for fishing. Good sun protection and an adjustable chin strap make these solid and reliable.

Baseball Caps: Some anglers will use a ball cap as a fishing hat. The brim on a baseball hat offers good coverage in the front but nothing at the sides or the back. It’s better than nothing for sun protection, but not the best choice for a fishing hat.

Legionnaire Hats: This style of fishing hat has a long neck flap in the back and ear flaps as well. These offer great sun protection for your face and neck, but are not the most appealing style for some anglers.

Wide Brim Hats: These are similar to bucket hats but are not always as deep. The brim of this style of hat is usually wider than that of a bucket hat. Some can extend it to 6 inches.

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